AMC at San Diego Comic-Con on Friday revealed the first teaser for the untitled Walking Dead movie starring Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), which the cabler revealed will be theatrically released in partnership with Universal Pictures.
The brief teaser shows the familiar helicopter that flew the believed-dead Rick away from his home of Alexandria in Virginia.
"He's been wanting to do movies for years. He was saying since Season 3 or 4, he was like, 'Dude, we should do a movie, it would be so cool to do a full-on movie in theaters,'" Lincoln's former co-star Chandler Riggs said during a December convention appearance.
For Lincoln, who stepped away from the television series in the front half of Season 9 in November, launching the movie side of the franchise was a way to stay on in his role as the sheriff's deputy turned zombie slayer without the extensive time commitments of television that kept him away from his young family.
"That coincided with my personal reasons — which, on my end, are that kids become less portable as they get older. And yet there was a part of me that thought, 'I don't think I'm done with the guy,'" Lincoln previously told THR.
"I love this character; I love the world that we inhabit. So why don't we try to potentially continue this story in a different way and maybe complete his story so the mothership can continue?"
The movies, described by TWD chief content officer Scott Gimple as "big, epic entertainments," will offer more spectacle and will be shepherded by creator Robert Kirkman.
Lincoln's tenure with the television series ended when Rick blew a bridge to halt an advancing walker horde, sparing the community of survivors he called family. He was secretly rescued by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) and the mysterious CRM organization, leaving behind a six-year disappearance — a time to be explored on the big screen.
"He's flying off in a helicopter, away from Virginia, and it's going to be a new world — a very new situation with its own history, and very, very different from what we've seen before," Gimple said in November.
The untitled Walking Dead movie has yet to be dated. Gimple hinted the first movie could premiere sometime in 2020.